Eye diseases


Overview

Ayurvedic texts describe the eye as the most important sensory organ among the 5 sensory organs and mentioned Eye treatment i,e. Netra chikitsa in great detail. It talks about the causes of eye diseases, treatment of eye diseases and also describes how to keep eyes healthy. 

Ayurveda gives guidelines/tips for the right diet, right lifestyle and herbal remedies for healthy eyes. The basic principle of Ayurveda is based on tridosha/elements (vata, pitta and kapha) which is responsible for normal functions of the body and when vitiated leads to disease. The role of doshas is different from organ to organ, so etiological factors for vitiation of doshas are also different for different organs. In the eye, Alochaka Pitta(a type of pitta) is considered responsible for visual perception. The factors which vitiate pitta will lead to eye diseases.

Overview

Ayurvedic texts describe the eye as the most important sensory organ among the 5 sensory organs and mentioned Eye treatment i,e. Netra chikitsa in great detail. It talks about the causes of eye diseases, treatment of eye diseases and also describes how to keep eyes healthy. 

Ayurveda gives guidelines/tips for the right diet, right lifestyle and herbal remedies for healthy eyes. The basic principle of Ayurveda is based on tridosha/elements (vata, pitta and kapha) which is responsible for normal functions of the body and when vitiated leads to disease. The role of doshas is different from organ to organ, so etiological factors for vitiation of doshas are also different for different organs. In the eye, Alochaka Pitta(a type of pitta) is considered responsible for visual perception. The factors which vitiate pitta will lead to eye diseases.

Causes

Dietary causes

  • Sour items like curd, pickles etc vitiate pitta
  • Virudha aharam (like eating milk with fish, cooled and hot items together) 
  • Adhyasanam (eating before digestion of previous meal) will derange normal digestion mechanism

Other causes

  • Hot water head bath and excessive smoking by vitiating pitta.
  • Day time sleep and night awakening by disturbing the normal functions of rods and cones causing eye strain 
  • Looking at too small or too distant objects, continuous watching of moving objects  (TV & computer) reading in a moving vehicle or in incorrect posture (i.e. too near or at too distant) puts too much eye strain. 
  • Suppression of urges especially of nidra (sleep) & ashru (tears) affect the normal function of the lacrimal gland and there by moistening the eye. 
  • Cold water baths when the body is hot & using too high pillows causes circulatory disturbances which in turn affect the mechanism of nutrition and it leads to eye diseases. 
  • Air pollution and too much light are also the main causative factors  of  eye  diseases. 
  • Travelling in high speed vehicles without protecting the eyes 
  • Exposes eyes to currents of air and dust particles.

Treatment

  • Diet and lifestyle Modifications
  • Herbs and Herbo-Mineral Preparations
  • Example -

Improve eyesight - Amalaki, Haritaki, Daru haridra, Lodhra - Cure eye infection like conjunctivitis, eye stye. 

Effective in reducing infection, reduces pain and swelling - Triphala guggulu, Kaishore guggulu.

Other therapies - Snehapana-  To reduce the dryness in the body (administration of medicated ghee ), Virechana ( purgation therapy), Tharpana (Holding medicated ghee in the eyes), Putapaka (holding medicated herbal juices in the eye). Ashchothana- Pouring medicated liquid  drops in the eyes, Seka - washing eyes using medicated liquids,.


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